U.P. Poet Laureate finalists reading

Don’t miss this night on the town!


Readings by the U.P. Poet Laureate Finalists at the Vista Theater (218 Iron Street, Negaunee MI) on Wednesday, July 10 at 7 PM.

A literary powerhouse event! Come to the Vista Theater and learn the identity of Upper Michigan’s first-ever Poet Laureate!

The night will feature poetry readings and signings by the top five finalists for the first U.P. Poet Laureate Award: Elinor Benedict, Randall R. Freisinger, Eric Gadzinski, Austin Hummell and Russell Thorburn. Benedict, Freisinger, Gadzinski, Hummell and Thorburn were nominated by authors, bookstores and librarians across the Upper Peninsula. Marty Achatz, Kathleen Heideman, Beverly Matherne and M. Bartley Seigel (who were also top ten finalists), will introduce the top five finalists. Books will be available for purchase following the reading (via Snowbound Books). In addition to the authors, actors from the Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council will be reading selected works by the finalists, and the entire event will be hosted by poet Janeen Rastall.

The poets were selected for their exceptional talent. They have been widely published and have distinguished careers in the U.P. as teachers and promoters of poetry. Elinor Benedict of Rapid River is the founding editor of the literary magazine Passages North. Her recent books include Late News from the Wilderness and All That Divides Us. Randall R. Freisinger is an emeritus professor of Humanities at Michigan Tech University in Houghton. His four books of poems include Running Patterns, Hand Shadows, Plato’s Breath and Nostalgia’s Thread. Eric Gadzinski is an associate professor of English at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie where he was one of the founders of the LSSU creative writing program and literary journal. His poetry collections include Lotus Eater, Sweetgrass and Road’s End. Austin Hummell is a professor of English at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. His books include Poppy and The Fugitive Kind. Russell Thorburn has taught in U.P. schools through the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs, at Marquette Branch Prison and at Northern Michigan University. He is the author of five books of poems: Approximate Desire, Father, Tell Me I Have Not Aged, The Drunken Piano, The Whole Tree as Told to the Backyard and Misfit Hearts.

Price: Free! As in “free verse.”

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